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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  August 22, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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lthy donors i met in the very taker sense that i spent more and more of my time above the fray outside of the world world the people that i chose public life to serve. that's their reality. "viewpoint" is next. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." i cannot think of a week since mitt romney sealed the g.o.p. nomination for president that the conversation in this election has been focused on the one issue he wants to talk about--jobs. instead, there has been a stampede of topics that have likely turned the public against the republican ticket. from romney's tenture at bain capital to his tax returns. his tax plan. his overseas gaffes. s his plans for medicare, and now abortion. thanks to missouri
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representative todd akin and his comments regarding quote legi rape and pregnancy the politics of abortion are now front and center in this campaign. congressman akin apologized again for those remarks today while saying his opposition to abortion under any circumstance could help him win the senate seat held by democrat claire mccaskill. >> these pro abortion. i am pro-life. >> eliot: congressman paul ryan, robin to romney's batman was aligned with akin on abortion when they served together in the house. which left ryan in an uncomfortable position today of praising their stance while insisting it would play no part in the campaign. >> i'm proud of my pro-life record. i stand by my pro-life record in congress. it's something that i'm proud of. but mitt romney is the top of the ticket. mitt romney will be were the. and hepresident.and he will set the
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political of romney administration. >> eliot: right now those policies don't appear to be winners. in the poll of romney and ryan, a mere 4 points. but yet women gave the president a ten-point edge over romney and when asked who would give the percentage. meanwhile, the democrats will be highlightings with wi congresswomn, geo activ fluke pr relin pro-choncy keenan. us. >> hi eliott great to be here. thanks.ot: congratulations on your speaking role, the convention, i don't want to pry too much, but was this just in the last week, or was this a long-planned >> look, it's an honor for me to speak at the convention and talkt the importance of women's health and women's abortion rights issues. because these are fundamental issues of freedom and privacy
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for women, and women are going to make a difference in this election. >> eliot: women are going to certainly make a difference in this election. there is still a yawning gap between the way women and men view the competing tickets. did you think a year ago that abortion rights would be front and center in the campaign, or did you think, like the rest of us that the economy and jobs would dominate the discussion. >> people are having a hard time in the economy. we don't minimize that at all. but we've been watching this trend of war on women since 2010. and we saw the attacks immediately come on the issue of women's health,'s abort rights u it was going t jobsd turned around and immediatelycking women's riot: certainly womeimeknow ha a romney-ryan ticket with ryan being so far right supporting todd akin's position.
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yet 40% of women are still with romney. how do you talk to them? what argument do you make to say, wait a minute, something fundamental to your being is at stake here. >> that's right. that's what pro-choice america willing doing. ryan is someone who supported person hood amendment. not only would it outlaw bogues in cases of rape and incest. it could and probably would outlaw common forms of birth control. fertility treatment that women are looking for. those are the kind of extreme measures in personhood. in addition women in this country were outraged with the forced ultrasound bill in virginia. let's keep in mind that mr. ryan also supports forced ultrasound for women even though it's not medically necessary. even though it's against her will. this is a radical extreme ticket. once the contrast is drawn between romney, ryan, president obama, women are going to flock
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to president obama knowing that he is standing with women and standing up for our privacy and our freedom. >> eliot: there are many strengths to the republican party, and as we see the all unfold, we have the libertarians and the right. will women romney because of his economic policies or do they agree with him on his view of choice? >> no, i think there is some gap here in what they really know about romney and ryan and what has happened and transpired over the last couple of years around the issue of reproduct upproductive rights. once we tell them the story they move immediately to support the president. fundamental, everybody's economic plan, you kind of not know which one you should choose. but when it comes down fundamentally, when a woman walks into that voting booth and she says, where do they stand on
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the issue of my reproductive rights and whether or not i get to make the decision or if the politicians in washington are making the decision it becomes clear that fundamentally it is about her her family, and her reproductive rights. she'll vote that way. >> eliot: interestingly, when we were in government and we thought we were fighting the fight of a good fight i know we were. when you look at republit's surprisingly evening even in public support of pro-choice what do you do to move the needle further on this issue? >> well, i think it truly is in the next generation and that mill lenan generation. they are pro-choice. there is a bit of intensity gap and we have to close it when they collect the personal to the political. and that this truly is who we elect to office, whether it's at the presidential level or
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whether it's in the state legislature. it makes a difference of who's elected. i think we have the silver lining in all of these attacks is that young people have said enough is enough. i think you'll also see them flock to the polls and support the president and his agenda. >> eliot: look i certainly hope that's right. the issue that i'm not sure if you're tired or appreciate the metaphor or analogy. in terms of same-sex marriage. younger group, in fact, embrace a broader choice of rights. >> yes, and our data shows that they're pro-choice. our challenge is connecting the personal that they have to connect the personal belief and personal values to acting politically. gay marriage is interesting. that's something that that generation wanted and didn't have. with regard to choice, they have a right. now it has to be protected.
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so it's a different kind of analogy here, but i think they understand what is at stake. they understand that it is political, and if they don't stand as which many of them are already doing, let's be clear about that but they will stand for their rights to privacy and freedom in the country without political or politicians interfering. >> eliot: a fascinating distinction that you draw in there, something that you have something rather than the fight to acquire it. nancy keenan thank you for coming on the program. i look forward to hearing you at the convention. >> thanks, eliot. good to see you. >> eliot: for how they have brought the debate back to former terms chip, i don't know where to start with you. and you've got a hurricane barreling down on your city also. how do you reclaim your debate?
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>> this has been a tough couple of days when you're knocked off message, it was another candidate running for the united states senate, that's always tough and it's been dominating the media. the republicans have an opportunity to reframe this election about what it's really about, which is jobs and the economy. i think you're going to see a great list of speakers come up every night that will continually talk about their plan and their vision for jobs in the economy 8.3% unemployment is too high. the economy is slagging. we've got too much debt. that's what we're going to be talking about. >> eliot: if there was a debate to jobs and the economy, there would be a different texture to this debate. but the olympic gaffes, others that are more important the attacks on bain capital how can you reclaim this? there has not been a single week where you have been on message. so why do you think it's going -(to change. >> well, since paul ryan was put
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on the ticket, ihe romney-ryan ticket has had a weeks of it. and then obviously the akin story knockedveryone off's all now. especially at the convention as we go to labor day that's the conventional point those elusive undecided begin to pay attention and that's where the republican party can frame this debate about the referendum of the presidentbarackabout thebarack obama administration and what he has done. >> eliot: i'mi understand that you doesn't want to be talking about medicare and abortion, but frankly i don't think he wants to be talking about medicare but jobs. inevident ply in my mind, governor romney is going to be asked at a debate, do you want to affirm or reverse roe v. wade how will he answer that? and how will that go through the campaign. >> i think he'll say he'll try
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to reverse roe v. wade. i believe that it should be reversed. i believe it was a bad ruling and that's what the republicans in tampa are talking about at the platform committee. i think he'll be very honest about that. >> eliot: if he says that, and you have a platform that is very close to the todd akin view of the abortion rights and the war on i am women, does women. does it make it hard for mitt romney to close a gender gap. >> there is no question there is a gender gap. but that has been a traditional gender gap. the reason why i reject the war on women. if you say that, then you say women only care about abortion and the social issues. women care about jobs, education, paying the motor they worry about the same things that men worry about as well. they worry about paying the mortgage next month. abortion and pro-choice and pro-life are very important to the parties but a slight more
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are pro-life than pro-choice. if the democrats choose to run on this issue of abortion. if they see their democratic convention speaker after speaker railing on abortion and pro-choice and all these issues, i think it really could backfire for the democrats. >> eliot: i think we'll have to wait and see how it plays out. you were a successful campaign manager for mike huckabee. people liked him. he's very conservative on the issue of choice. did he face a gender gap of this order of magnitude and if not how did he avoid it. >> we did very well amongst women. and in the republican party women were our biggest asset. i think love of it is tone for governor huckabee. he's a conservative. he's just not angry about it, and he's willing to respect the other side talk about the differences and find common ground to agree on. i think that's what we all strife to do even though tv shows get a lot more punish fun
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when you have people yelling at each other. but at the end of the day you say this is what i believe and why. and then you find common ground and move forward. that's how you governor the country. >> eliot: i got to say mike huckabee thoroughly nice guy. couldn't disagree with him more, but thoroughly nice. jim s saltsman. thank you for coming on the show. when it comes to president obama's stimulus package. it worked great. we'll hear about it coming up. >>it's the place where democracy is supposed to be the great equalizer, where your vote is worth just as much as donald trump's. we must save the country. it starts with you.
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>> eliot: i don't want to feel bad for mitt romney. but i kind of do. first, though, a little context. believe it or not, barack obama did not get all the african-american vote in 2008. senator john mccain still managed to score about 4%. and now after three years people of all colors can judge president obama by his record. so how much of the african-american vote is going for mitt romney? in our latest polls our number of the day--zero. seriously. an nbc-wall street journal poll released tuesday even though obama is getting 94% from african-americans, about the same as four years ago romney can't even catch the spillover. a small nugget of black voters who would not vote for obama four years ago still can't stand mitt romney. this is even after republicans floated the rumor that condoleezza rice would be his running mate. come on, mate, didn't that matter? no. just seemed false and con
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descending. what matters is policy. romney loses points for looking out of step with more americans and for not seeming to care about average people. and so whether whether or not you judge the president by the color of his skin. mitt is still being judged by his lack of character. ?ñ?ñ >> eliot: it could be the most important, most transformative program in decades. it touched virtually every sector of our economy and saved us from a depression. yet it is universally maligned
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and denigrated by both political parties and moot. how did they all misunderstand president obama's stimulus bill, and how have they all gotten it so wrong? joining me now is michael shure senior national correspondent for "time" and author of the fascinating and critically important new book, "the new new deal: the hidden story of change in the obama era." thank you for your time and your new book. >> thanks. >> eliot: how do you define success. you're saying clearly this thing worked, and everyone else is saying something else. >> the economic success. people don't remember because we had the financial earthquake but the tsunami had not hit the shore. gdp had fell to 9%. that's depression area. at that rate we would have lost canada in a year. the next quarter we had the biggest improvement in jobs in 30 years. of course today people are not happy we're gaining 150,000 jobs
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a month and gdp is only 1.5% to 2%. it's better than losing 9% and 800,000 jobs. >> eliot: one of the fascinating comparatives that you draw is the new new deal, and the new deal of president roosevelt in terms of scale, order of magnitude. explain to us which was bigger. >> the stimulus was bigger than the entire new deal. the new deal went on for years and was a bunch of different bills. the stimulus bill poured more stimulus into the economy to revive demand. >> eliot: and to come back to the fundamental bottom line, it worked, which is a critical point we can't forget. but the sub text here, maybe not the sub text but an equally important argument. it's not just that jobs were created but there is an impact from the stimulus package that was hugely important.
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>> people say where is the hoover dam or the sky rise. what it had was when obama said this is change we can believe in. this is where he kept the campaign promises about energy, healthcare education race to the top. the largest infrastructure investment since eisenhower. the largest research investment. the largest middle class tax cuts since reagan. clean energy is the best example where we've been spending a few dollars a year. and then obama comes in before he really even knows where the path rooms are in the west wing and passes $90 million the smart grid, cleaning coal advance biofuels, electric vehicles, the factories to make all this stuff in the united states. it's completely transformative. >> eliot: and its worked. you pointed out the hoover dam was physically there. you saw it. the roads were there you physically touch them and say
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aha, i understand it. these research projects are and will continue to be transformative. the tragedy is people remember silendra. that is what swamped the imagery of the project. >> 1% of the campaign portfolio. john mccain has looked at the entire portfolio and it looks fine. the world's largest solar project. the world's largest distributed solar projects. thats are all game-changing projects that will change the way we use energy. are we going to see them every day and are we going to point to them and say those are the turbines that obama guilt? that will not be so clear. >> eliot: what about the nature of its passage, the political moment or marketing of it that
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has left it as an orphan on the steps without anyone coming to its defense until you. >> i think it's partly because it's tough to sell a job when jobs are falling apart. that made it easy for the media which doesn't like public policy any way. when they is full of pork lists which is trips to disneyland, and it was easy for them to say sure especially when the democrats were saying no, this is full of energy, race to the stop and giving everyone an electronic medical record. they were saying no, it's too big, too small, the tax cuts are not enough. it was a can calf phone and the only thing people heard was that it was a mess.
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>> eliot: nobody is ever satisfied. so the left attacked. the right attacked. the republican party was in attack mode. the new deal began when we hit bottom. this was on the way down, and it's an impossible task to say that it would have been worse but for. >> terrible bumper sticker. like we were wiley coyote. we were holding the anvil jumped off the cliff, looking around, and it was tough for people to understand. you can't put on a bumper sticker that unemployment is a lagging indicator. >> eliot: right. >> you have this incredible campaign of distortion. i talk in the book how republicans even before obama had taken office, they were always for stimulus. mitt romney of all the presidential candidates he supported the largest stimulus in 2008. but the second, january january 20, 2009, i don't know what happened, but suddenly stimulus became socialism, big government. >> eliot: it's hard to know what
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mitt romney has ever believed in but one point point this book is so important. the next time we have a crisis, we may get it wrong. michael shure the "the new new deal." a must read. thank you. >> thank you. >> eliot: what happens when you pull a hippo's finger? viewfinder next.
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republican convention in florida. >> in honor of senior citizen day i ate a bowl of hard candy and pretended not to know what a laptop was. >> i don't hear it, do you hear it? >> no. >> the republicans let them have theirs in north carolina, and everybody can go to the mat. >> are we going to meet this? >> i came up with this. it's self depourtation station. >> there's a lot of stuff in here. i'm oddly drawn to it. it activates the auto lock, and off it goes. >> you need to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.
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i have walked it before. i know when you have to hold that mantle and pass it to someone else. that's what i had to do in alaska. >> there go. >> hey pull my finger. [laughter] >> the new campaign commercial says president obama should not take credit for killing osama bin laden. >> what barack obama wants you to believe he coordinateed top-secret precision assault that took out america's most hated enemy. what really happened? osamas was hit by a truck. >> eliot: i guess you could laugh about anything these days. you don't need an expert to take down paul ryan's economic plan, but we've got one any way. robert reich joins us next.
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>> eliot: there are precious few details in mitt romney's economic plan. but the etch-a-sketch candidate
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has specialized in politically adoption and his v.p. choice paul ryan has lots of details in his plan. details that robert reich says could spell doom for our economy. >> his plan would race taxes on families earning between $30,000 and $4,000 by almost $500 a year and slash programs like medicaid medicaid, food stamps and children's health. what would ryan do with these savings? reduce taxes on millionaires by an average of over $500,000 a year. >> cenk: here to tell us more robert reich himself, professor at uc-berkeley and author of " "beyond outrage: what has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy and how to"? >> hi, eliot. >> eliot: we'll post your site so people can get to it. tell us about jobs, what would the romney-ryan do to to our job
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job. >> they want to start major reduction. way before it started. we already has too much capacity underutilization capacity and too much unemployment. if you cut the budget already you'll have more unemployment. estimates by the institute says if we use the ryan budget we'll have 1.9 fewer jobs next year, and 2.8 million fewer jobs the year after. on the jobs front it's a disaster. >> eliot: it's almost as though we're talking about a fiscal cliff which is economic. he wants to push us over the cliff by shrinking federal spending. it's completely wrong based on any economy theorist that you speak to.
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economic distribution. what would he do to income distribution. >> remember, we now have almost the most unequal distribution we've had in the past 100 years. the top 1% is taking home 20% of total income and the top 400 families own more wealth than the bottom 150 million americans put together. now what ryan wants to do is make this even more extreme even more lopsided. he's going to raise taxes on people who are between $20,000 & $30,000 and reduce the taxes of millionaires. people above $1 million would get a tax cut of $500,000 a year. that's also including keeping the bush tax cut there permanently. you know this is not just reverse robin hood. this is a reverse robin hood torqued to an extreme degree. we haven't seen this kind of
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regressive budget ever before in this country's history. he wants to take us back--not to just before the new deal, but really back to the late 19th century. >> eliot: i want to go back a few years in history. when the bush economic, george w. bush economic agenda was proposed a lot of people, you included, said if you follow through on this, you'll get mall distribution of income. slow job creation, and am i right to say that you've been proven right. >> sadly. i'm sad to say that it's true. after the bush tax cut was put in affect. the lion share of that tax cut went to the very wealthy, we had fewer jobs than the ten years before, even the eight years before. we also had slower economic growth. it culminated in the great meltdown of wall street. we had absolutely nothing to show for that bush tax cut. the supply siders are wrong. nothing trickles down.
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>> eliot: what i like to say to people. put a aside ideology. look at fact. it's the same blueprint we tried under george w. bush. >> it's worse. the tax cuts they want to provide to the very rich are multiples of the bush cuts. the cuts to the promise to the poor are much more onerous. 62% of the programs are designed for the poor. we're talking about head start food stamps, pell grants for poor students to attend universities. we're talking about everything that the federal government has tried to do to help people who for no fault of their own in most cases are poor or lower income in this country. >> eliot: it's george w. bush on steroids.
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the reasons for that is not only the tax policies that you laid out, but the spending time, they've capped 3.75% of gdp medicare medicaid, and defense associatesocial security. >> every time i hear that paul ryan, one thing that is on his side that i hear over and over again from pundits is that he's serious about entitlement reform. that's baloney. he's a destroyer of entitlements. he wants to take medicaid and give it out to the states with almost no federal support at all. the federal support goes from one-half to one-third to one quarter of what it is right now. he wants to give medicare vouchers whose costs don't keep up with the cost of healthcare. that means the cost of healthcare is shifted on to seniors. in every respect this budget takes from people who are
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vulnerable and gives to the people in our society the small normal, whonumber who are wealthier than ever in history. >> eliot: it would throw them off. >> and on top of that they want to get rid of the affordable care act. so you're going to create 50 million--50 million additional americans will not have any health coverage at all. >> eliot: quickly because times runs short. you wrote a persuasive blog on the fanatics taking over the republican party. why is that. the party used to have a grand tradition of creative and interesting thinking. now fanatics run it. how did this happen? >> look, we've seen it happen. it happened not only with the tea partyers, who were very widely and deeply financed by dick army's freedom works, koch brothers and others, but the
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gradual--the core of the republican party withered away in primary after primary tea parties put up candidates who were even more extreme forcing republicans who were already moving to the right to move even further to the right. before the tea party we saw newt gringrich and his crowd in the 1990s take over more and more of the republican establishment making it more radicalized and more regressive. right now we have a party, the g.o.p. this may be good for the democrats in the short term. but i think it's bad for the americans in the long term because we need two sane political parties. we have a political party that is regressive taking from the poor, give together rich, reverse robin hood. social car win darwinist. but they also bleep women who are raped should not have access to abortion--abortion should be banned.
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even in the case of rape and incest we have a party that continues to rail against immigrants and essentially allowing or encouraging profiling of hispanics latinos. we have a party that is mounting a major campaign and continues against gays in terms of equal rights and civil rights. we have a party in other words that is going after seniors after gays, after the poor, after latinos, after women after everybody in this society who basically is even slightly vulnerable slightly powerless. i take americans who don't fit in these categories are gradually seeing the light. they're seeing that this agenda is so extreme fanatical and right wing that it does not belong in the mainstream of america. >> eliot: that was extraordinarily well said but very, very depressing. i think there is still outrage
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in robert reich. >> don't be depressed. i think obama will win and progressives in this country will be electrified by all of this. >> eliot: i certainly hope so. from your mouth to god's ears. check it out on . thank you for your time. illegal spying on muslims by police. was it even more pointless than you think? that's coming up. plan unwrap your paradise. soft, sweet coconut covered in rich, creamy chocolate.
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>> eliot: driver's licenses for immigrants. it's one of my old battles and california is doing it right. that's later in my view. at the top of the hour in "the war room," jennifer will sit down with the president of international brotherhood of teamsters to talk about the future of the labor movement. more "viewpoint" coming up next. >>oh really? >>"if you ever raise taxes on >>the rich, you're going to destroy our economy." not true!
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